[Ads-l] antedating (?) "shaggy-dog story"

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Mon Dec 4 18:05:09 EST 2017


Clearly, I'm coming down with Oldtimer's disease. I don't even recall my
own comment to the "shaggy-dog" thread.

So, in the beginning, the shaggy-dog story was really a brief, boring tale
about a shaggy dog that the teller told over and over to his hearers,
pretending that it was so funny that it was worthy of re-telling? Then it
evolved into a long, attention-holding tale about a mystery that is left
unsolved, rendering the listener's rapt attention a complete waste of time?
This is non-denouement is quite funny to the teller, but quite an annoyance
to the person suckered into listening to the story.

BTW, isn't this annoying-popular blast from the past, the bane of my last
semester of grade school, also a form of shaggy-dog story?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Thing_(song)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2H6qC23RPY


On Mon, Dec 4, 2017 at 1:15 AM, Peter Reitan <pjreitan at hotmail.com> wrote:

> The original "Shaggy Dog" story of 1906 lists a P. J. Faulkner of Fredonia
> Avenue, Avondale as the person who first told the story.
>
>
> There was, in fact, a P. J. Faulkner who lived Cincinnati, Ohio, and there
> is still a Fredonia Avenue in the Avondale neighborhood of Cincinnati, so
> the story could have been true.
>
>
> P. J. Faulkner appears to have been a fairly influential citizen - his
> wife served on lots of committees, and he served as a committeman in some
> public service organizations at times.  His brother worked for the
> Cincinnati Enquirer, so it's not surprising, perhaps, that he hung out with
> the kinds of people who would hear his story and put it in a paper.
>
>
> Peter Reitan
>
>
> ________________________________
> From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of
> ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>
> Sent: Sunday, December 3, 2017 6:51 PM
> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
> Subject: Re: antedating (?) "shaggy-dog story"
>
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: antedating (?) "shaggy-dog story"
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> -------------------
>
> The origin of the shaggy dog story was discussed on this list back in
> August 2015. Here is a link to information for a 1906 citation that I
> think is illuminating.
>
> http://listserv.linguistlist.org/pipermail/ads-l/2015-August/138521.html
>
> Here is a link to the beginning of the thread which was initiated by
> Stephen Goranson:
>
> http://listserv.linguistlist.org/pipermail/ads-l/2015-August/138435.html
>
> I think that an interesting article could be written using citations
> from the thread and supplementary research.  I haven't tried to write
> a summary because I primarily concentrate on quotations.
>
> Garson
>
>
> On Sun, Dec 3, 2017 at 8:35 PM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> > OED cites _Esquire_ in 1937. The passage doesn't feel the need to define
> > the term.
> >
> > 1918 _South Bend News-Times_ (Sept. 22) II 6: The next scene reveals the
> > superior court at Reno, which isn't so darn superior, as the fellow said
> > about the shaggy dog. (Note - shaggy dog story will be mailed on
> > application to editor.)
> >
> > Cf.:
> >
> > 1947 _Saturday Review_ (Aug. 9) 6:  You never can be like the man in the
> > original shaggy dog* story* who went through a thousand troubles to see
> the
> > shaggiest dog in the world and, once his ambition was accomplished,
> > remarked "Oh, he wasn't so shaggy."
> >
> > JL
> >
> > --
> > "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the
> truth."
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> American Dialect Society<http://www.americandialect.org/>
> www.americandialect.org
> Devoted to the study of English around the world.
>
>
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>



-- 
-Wilson
-----
All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

------------------------------------------------------------
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org


More information about the Ads-l mailing list